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American Exceptionalism in Crime and Punishment$
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Kevin R. Reitz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190203542

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190203542.001.0001

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American Exceptionalism in Crime, Punishment, and Disadvantage

American Exceptionalism in Crime, Punishment, and Disadvantage

Race, Federalization, and Politicization in the Perspective of Local Autonomy

Chapter:
(p.53) 1 American Exceptionalism in Crime, Punishment, and Disadvantage
Source:
American Exceptionalism in Crime and Punishment
Author(s):

Nicola Lacey

David Soskice

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190203542.003.0002

This chapter sets a particular thesis focused on the institutional structure of the American political system within the context of a broader literature in the comparative political economy of crime and punishment. It then considers three possible objections to this analysis. The first argues that increasing American exceptionalism in the postwar period is to be explained primarily in terms of a distinctive history and politics of race. The next is the argument that this exceptionalism is to be attributed primarily to national policy driven by the federal government. The final argument is that American exceptionalism is driven by the interests of political elites who are relatively disconnected from the interests of their electors. Each of these objections, the chapter suggests, can be met.

Keywords:   race, federalization, politicization, American political system, comparative political economy, history and politics of race, national policy, political elite

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